LAIE, Hawaii – Four BYU-Hawaii men's basketball players set new career highs as they defeated Holy Names University 84-78 Saturday night at the Cannon Activities Center.
"When adversity struck, we were able to do just enough to hold on," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabriel Roberts said. "We got up early and then kind of relaxed and let [Holy Names] get back in it. Caeleb [Roney] hit several clutch shots for us there at the end."
Tanner Nelson led BYU-Hawaii (5-12, 3-8 PacWest) and all scorers with 25 points and added a career-high two blocks. Caeleb Roney followed close behind with his career high of 21 points. Shad Watson scored 19 points and dished out a career-high six assists and Denhym Brooke grabbed 12 boards to go with six blocks, his career high.
Jewels Sanders and Marcelas Perry led the way for Holy Names (3-15, 2-9 PacWest), scoring 20 and 19 respectively.
The Seasiders never trailed as they shot 54.2 percent from the field while holding the Hawks to 37.5 percent. BYU-Hawaii shot 41.2 percent from behind the arc compared to Holy Names' 25 percent. The Seasiders set a new season high with 12 blocks and added 16 assists on the night.
Shad Watson hit nothing but net on his opening jumper before Jason Webster matched it with a shot of his own. Watson hit another one to spark a 12-4 run for the Seasiders, featuring a two jumpers and a 3-pointer from Roney. BYU-Hawaii continued to build the lead extending it to 22-6 with 12:28 to play till halftime.
BYU-Hawaii's offense went cold for the next several minutes as the Hawks slowly chipped away at the deficit. Sanders and Marcelas each hit several shots to build Holy Names' comeback. Dante Robinson sunk a three with 3:50 until the half to put the Hawks within two at 31-29. Tanner Nelson answered with a make behind the arc and a layup, while Watson put BYU-Hawaii back up by nine with a 3-pointer of his own. Sanders scored five straight and the Seasiders went into the locker room leading 38-33.
The teams traded baskets for several minutes to start the second half and the Seasiders were unable to gain much separation. Marcelas hit two free throws to get Holy Names back within two with 16 minutes left to play, but Roney retaliated with a layup and a jumpshot to extend the lead back to six. Bailey Kikuchi found Brooke cutting down the baseline for a powerful dunk to put BYU-Hawaii up eight with 11:31 remaining.
Andre Green and Marcelas each hit jump shots to keep Holy Names close before Brooke sunk two free throws and Gabriel Andrade made a layup to make it 62-53 in favor of the Seasiders with nine minutes to go. D McCleary and Andrade both cut into the lane for layups to ignite a 12-2 run for the Seasiders to give them their biggest lead of the game at 17 with five minutes left.
The Hawks answered with 12 straight points before Nelson made a jump shot to stop their run. Sanders and Jason Webster both hit shots to put Holy Names within three with 2:04 left to play. The teams traded baskets again, but Nelson kept the Seasiders ahead with another three and they secured the victory 84-78.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the court in Honolulu at the Blaisdell Center against Hawaii Pacific University at 6:30 p.m. HST. Live stats and video will be available online.